Road Pitch Investment Tour To Come To Bennington On August 3rd



Road Pitch

Shelburne, Vermont…. Road Pitch, a four day motorcycle tour of Vermont in which a gang of “business bikers” (comprised of investors, entrepreneurs and business advisors) ride around the state and stop in various towns to listen to entrepreneurs pitch their business concepts has announced its 2015 schedule. Road Pitch was founded in 2014 by Cairn Cross co-founder of FreshTracks Capital. “I gathered together close to 30 other founding riders during 2014” said Cross, “and we proved the Road Pitch concept by riding 500 miles through Vermont stopping in various towns and listening to more than 30 pitches.” The idea behind Road Pitch is to bring advice and possibly investment to businesses around the state and to help connect entrepreneurs to various resources that are available to them and to promote Vermont as a perfect motorcycle touring destination.

For 2015 Road Pitch will stop in 8 towns during the first week in August. The schedule is:

Monday August 3rd (morning), opening stop in Essex Junction at Green Mountain Harley Davidson. The local event coordinator is Greg Morgan. He can be reached

Monday August 3rd (afternoon), Bennington, Vermont at Bennington College. The local event coordinator is Brian McKenna. He can be reached

Tuesday August 4th (morning), Brattleboro, Vermont at the Strolling of the Heifers Robert H. Gibson River Garden. The local event coordinator is Orly Munsing. She can be reached at

Tuesday August 4th (afternoon), Rutland, Vermont at the Castleton Center for Entrepreneurship. The local event coordinator is Jamie Stewart. He can be reached

Wednesday August 5th (morning), Randolph, Vermont at Vermont Technical College. The local event coordinator is Allan Rodgers. He can be reached

Wednesday August 5th (afternoon), “Barn Pitch” in Lowell Vermont at Trish Sears and Steve Mason’s barn. The local event coordinators are Trish Sears and Steve Mason. They can be reached at: and Their phone numbers are: 802-258- 0873 and 802-744-6600.

Thursday August 6th (morning), Morrisville, at the Charlemont Restaurant. The local event coordinator is John Mandeville. He can be reached at:

Thursday August 6th (afternoon), Grand Isle, Vermont at Snow Farm Vineyard. The local event coordinator is Ruth Wallman and she can be reached

Entrepreneurs interested in pitching their business concept to the riders should contact the local event coordinator in their town or region and make an application. Each local event will screen the applicants and select and coach the final presenters. The event is open to both start-up and established businesses. More information about the Road Pitch event is available on the Road Pitch website at

"The Lightning Jar" Coworking Space Developing in Downtown Bennington.


 “The Lightning Jar” Coworking Space Developing in Downtown Bennington.

 Visit the future home of coworking inside the new VSECU Bennington location Tuesday June 9th for a tour

194 North Street, Bennington VT

Bennington, Vermont – June 7, 2015 – A group of business and community leaders in Bennington are developing Vermont’s newest coworking space. Named “The Lightning Jar”, the space is expected to begin operations by the end of summer 2015.  Located inside of the new VSECU branch in downtown Bennington, The Lightning Jar is planning to offer roughly 1,200 square feet of open concept office space, meeting rooms, and a shared break room, to serve entrepreneurs, innovators, knowledge workers, telecommuters, and remote workers. 

The Lightning Jar is partnering with VSECU, a not for profit banking alternative for all Vermonters offering a full range of affordable financial products and services to its member owners.  VSECU is collaborating with The Lightning Jar to create the coworking space within VSECU's Bennington retail branch that will forward its shared principles of membership participation, autonomy, independence, education, cooperation, and community sustainability. 

“The Lightning Jar is an exciting new project designed to promote Bennington’s creative economy and foster collaboration, networking, and ultimately new business development,” stated Dimitri Garder, The Lightning Jar’s Interim Director and project lead.  “Coworking spaces situated in other Vermont towns and throughout the country have demonstrated great success in generating energy and interaction among knowledge workers leading to new business startups and innovation,” said Garder.  “VSECU is proud to be hosting and partnering with The Lightning Jar,” stated Rob Miller, CEO of VSECU.  “The vision and purpose of the coworking space is an ideal fit for VSECU’s principles of cooperation and community sustainability.”

The Lightning Jar will host tours of the soon-to-be coworking space on June 9th  from 9am to 5pm, as part of VSECU’s Grand Opening Celebration of the Bennington retail branch.  Members of The Lightning Jar will be available to speak about coworking, what it means for Bennington, and answer questions about the project and how it will impact the Bennington economy.  The event will take place at 194 North Street in Bennington.

The project’s name, “The Lightning Jar,” is based on the famous canning jar of the same name, which was invented by former Bennington resident, Henry Putnam in 1882.  


For more information, contact:

Dimitri Garder, Project Lead
194 North Street
PO Box 1524
Bennington, VT 05201  USA
Phone: 802.445.1011 x205


Craft of Beer Home Brew Challenge!”

By William Gardner, Brewer

Are you are a home brewer or enjoy sampling fresh, local, home brewed beer?  Then plan to join us for The First Annual Craft of Beer Home Brew Challenge and street festival on August 1, 2015 from noon to 4pm. A section of County St. in Bennington, VT will be closed for this unique event. Enjoy a street fair atmosphere with live bands, delicious food trucks, and of course the best home brewed beer in the area! Events will be spread throughout County St. so you can sample beer, shop, and enjoy all that the 4 Corners North has to offer! This is a family friendly event and there will be homemade root beer available.

If you are a home brewer and would like to enter the Challenge please go to and register now. There is a $10 registration fee and is limited to the first 50 home brewers who register. This will be a “Best of Show” competition voted on by those in attendance. The winning home brewer will work with Brewer Will from Madison Brewing Co. to upscale and brew (3.5 Barrel Batch) their winning  recipe which will be on tap at the pub.

Admission to the street festival is free and $15 if you would like unlimited sampling of the home brewed beer. Tickets can be purchased on the day of the event and will include a sampling glass. Please visit for additional information.

The Craft of Beer Home Brew Challenge is sponsored by the B.C.I.C ( Bennington County Industrial Corp.), The Tap House at Catamount Glass, and Madison Brewing Company with contributions from the Bennington Potters and Hawkins House.

Can Bennington be an Outdoor Mecca?

By Chris Bates, Local Writer

Being in the outdoors professionally for thirty one years, along with traveling all over the country to enjoying the great outdoors, I came to Bennington in 2012 and un be knownst to me I ended up right smack dab in the Northeasts outdoor mecca.

Following along with the local politics here in Bennington I have come to understand that many ideas have been tried to gain the town its identity such as music, arts and crafts along with the many fine festivals the town offers, for what I call a flash in the pan idea, its great to get people to come for the week end then what ?

The one idea that has never been explored is “come to Bennington and enjoy the great outdoors”

The town of Bennington has some of the finest fishing in the state of Vermont let alone in the entire Northeast, the deer hunting in Bennington and Bennington county proved to be a banner year with 4.34 deer per square mile along with the recognition of the most deer harvested state wide, and with one hundred thousand turkey hunters invading Vermont during the month of May should be enough to peak interest in our town leaders let alone the constuancy here in this town of 15,000 .

The town of Bennington also has a trail head off of north branch street that leads to some of the best hiking trails in the country right hear in our own backyard along with miles of bike trail’s here as well through out Bennington and Bennington county.

“We have a lot of resources we have not explored yet for the outdoors” said Michael Harrington economic development director, “Its a viable asset that should be looked into further”

“Chris , we are twenty minutes from Orvis, thirty five minutes from the outlet stores in Manchester and if you go south thirty five minutes your in North Adams” said Michael Harrington.

“So the possibility of enjoying the great outdoors here in Bennington along with the complimenting surrounding towns and events would be the complete package” he said

In Vermont the outdoor industry provides 35,000 jobs and is responsible for 12% of the state gross product and nationally it gross's (two hundred eighty seven billion dollars) and generates 187,000,000.00 in tax revenue, which is nothing to look down on, how much of that tax revenue is Bennington receiving?

The days of the factorys and blue collar employees are long gone here in Bennington , when you become comfortable in a way of life, you lose sight of whats going on around you, we live in a beautiful town with a picturesqe back drop with that Norman Rockwell feel that so many talk about.

We have the right ingredeints to make this a new hustling and bustling town that outdoor enthusiasts from all over the country will want to come and enjoy the great outdoors, from our hiking trails to our fantastic fishing and everything in between to see what Bennington has to offer in a place we all call home.

My question to the town of Bennington is “are you willing to give this outdoor idea a good look” ?

Town of Bennington launches new marketing campaign,

Published by Vermont Business Magazine, March 26 2015

For most traveling into Vermont from the south or west, Bennington is the first town they pass through of a significant size. It is considered the hub of business, culture and community in the southwestern portion of the state, and is known for its deep-rooted history as the first chartered community in the state of Vermont.  It was with this in mind that a small group of individuals began an effort to design, develop and implemented a three-part marketing strategy aimed at promoting Bennington as the place where Vermont begins.

In late 2013 the marketing subcommittee of the Bennington Economic Development Partners, applied for and received a $13,000 grant from the United State Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program. It was this funding that moved the project from concept to action.

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Bennington to Learn from St. Albans - Economic Development

Keith Whitcomb, Reporter
The Bennington Banner

A town that doesn't invest in itself shouldn't expect anyone else to, was one of the main points made by leaders from the City of St. Albans Monday to their counterparts in Bennington.

St. Albans City Manager Dominic Cloud told those gathered at the Bennington Museum that as of 2008, St. Albans City had already experienced decades of decline. The downtown had a 60 percent vacancy rate, crime was on the rise, the police department was a shambles, and the grand list — The value of the taxable property in town — was going down. Tax rates were rising even as the town failed to keep up roads and sidewalks, and there was no plan for capital improvements.

"We were a sinking ship," he said, standing before members of the Bennington Economic Development Partners, town government, local business owners, the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, and representatives from the Southwestern Vermont Health Care.

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